Monday, December 12, 2005

First published in the booklet ' STRIP SEARCHES IN ARMAGH JAIL' , produced , in February 1984 , by 'The London Armagh Group' .

Women come to be prisoners in Armagh Jail via a judical system which is substantially different from that whereby women living in England , Scotland and Wales can be convicted of offences and imprisoned .

Since Partition in 1922 , which set-up 'Northern Ireland' as a 'State' , its people have always been controlled by emergency legislation which severely compromises civil and human rights . The 'Special Powers Act' of 1922 was replaced in 1973 by the 'Emergency Powers Act' and the 'Prevention of Terrorism Act' was introduced in 1974 . The 15 years since 1969 have seen internment without trial , juryless courts and routine physical , sexual and psychological torture of detainees .

During the most recent period of the British Army being in Ireland there have , since 1969 , been three distinct phases in the strategies used by the 'security forces' and judiciary to repress political strife . First , internment ; secondly , criminalisation using 'confessions' obtained by beatings ; and thirdly , criminalisation using informer 'evidence' .

Internment was introduced in 1971 and , for the next four years , thousands of Irish people , mainly Catholic men , were held without trial in Long Kesh ; the often flimsy 'evidence' against them went unchallenged since they were never brought to court .......


First published in 'IRIS' magazine , Volume 1 , Number 2 , November 1981 .

The hunger-strike begun by Bobby Sands on March 1st , 1981 , ended two-hundred-and-seventeen days later on October 3rd , 1981 .

Between 1.17AM on Tuesday May 5th 1981 and 7.50AM on Thursday August 20th 1981 , ten young Irishmen - the youngest , 23 : the oldest , 30 - died on hunger-strike . Their sacrifice was as much aimed at gaining for their comrades on the blanket protest the overt physical conditions of political recognition as it was individually a personal testimony of their refusal to be branded 'criminal' by the foreign and oppressive British regime which occupies the six north-eastern counties of Ireland by armed might .

The hunger-strike ended after four families had intervened medically to prevent their loved ones from dying and six other families had intimated that they would do likewise . The prisoners had not entered into the hunger-strike protest lightly ; they fully realised that only their deaths or the threat of their deaths would create the political conditions which would force the British government into conceding their five just and reasonable demands .......



The aspirations of SINN FEIN THE WORKERS PARTY towards socialist respectability are undermined by the continued military operations of the OFFICIAL IRA and that Party's own ideoligical contortions .
From ' MAGILL' magazine , April 1982 .
By Vincent Browne.

Bank Levies , SFWP style :

This happened on Thursday February 5th , 1981 but where we are not exactly sure . Neither do we know what , if anything , the raiders got .

Two train hold-ups occurred on the same day ; one on the Dublin-Belfast train , which left Connolly Station in Dublin at 17.30 . It appears that there were just two women involved in this raid and they held-up five crew members on the train and threw out 5 mail bags onto the tracks . These bags were later found by Gardai on the line between Skerries and Balbriggan , County Dublin .

While at least some of the bags contained registered mail , it is not known what , if anything , of value , the raiders may have got . Incidentally , the two female raiders got off the train when it came to an unscheduled halt at Balbriggan.

The other train hold-up occurred later that same night at Ballybrophy , County Laois on the Dublin-Cork mail train . It appears that there was no money on this train and the raiders left the scene in a state of some agitation . The Gardai linked the two incidents together , believing that the same organisation was responsible . However , we have discovered that one of the raids was conducted by the Official IRA and the other by the Provisional IRA , but we are not sure which was responsible for which .

(Tomorrow - 'Thuggery : The Ugly Face Of SFWP' .)